Rotherham businessman transforms abandoned building into booming boutique

A businessman from Rotherham has ventured into hospitality for the first time and launched a new boutique hotel that has become a welcome addition to the town.

Mark Mcgrail, owner of SME Environmental Holdings, transformed an abandoned building in the town centre into the new 1915 Bar & Bistro, restoring the 18th century property into a viable new business for the area.

The property comprises seven bedrooms, including a bridal suite with a panoramic view across Rotherham. Each of the rooms pays homage to a figure from the town’s heritage.

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Alongside the bedrooms the new venue is also home to an 80-cover restaurant and kitchen, plus a bar and three outdoor courtyards.

Mcgrail said: “Transforming the George Wright building from a completely rundown space into a boutique bar and hotel has been really challenging but extremely rewarding. The idea was to offer something a bit more upmarket in Rotherham town centre with the hope of boosting the town centre economy whilst offering something different to those both visiting the town and for those who already live here.”

The venue, situated at the back of Rotherham High Street dates back to 1766 when it was a solicitors. Then through the 1900s it became the offices of George Wright Ironworks whilst more recently in the 1980s it was a bar.

For the last 20 years the building has been abandoned, burnt by fire and infested with pigeons, before Mcgrail stepped in.

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